Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Secret tapes reveal former investigator hoped for film work with Crowe

Source: Geesche Jacobsen March 22, 2011

THE former assistant director of the NSW Crime Commission Mark Standen was hoping to become a consultant on a Russell Crowe film in which the Hollywood actor played a retired FBI director, a jury has heard.

The details were contained in a conversation Mr Standen had with Bakhos Jalalaty, his alleged co-conspirator in a planned importation of a drug precursor. In the conversation, recorded secretly with a device planted by police in the businessman's car, Mr Jalalaty was also heard discussing plans to import jam, sell beer and fish, market powdered milk and ''sacred water'' from Aboriginal lands.

It was one of a series of intercepted conversations and emails presented to the jury in Mr Standen's trial on conspiracy and drug charges yesterday.

Mr Standen told Mr Jalalaty he had received a phone message from Russell Crowe saying the lawyer Chris Murphy had suggested he contact Mr Standen. He met the Hollywood actor at a Walsh Bay cafe and Mr Standen believed they had got on well, but he was disappointed not to be offered a consultant's job.

The court also saw a series of emails which were allegedly stored as drafts on Hotmail accounts used by Mr Jalalaty and a third alleged co-conspirator, the drug dealer James Kinch, apparently discussing finances.

The Crown alleges Mr Kinch sent an email with the subject ''pull your finger out'' asking why Mr Jalalaty was having ''such difficulties'' and had only ''200 available''.

''I was under the impression that you where using it to buy stock which would be sold at a profit,'' his email says. On the same day Mr Jalalaty allegedly replied via a new draft email: ''Maurice has already expressed your disappointment. We are working closely now to ensure everything is done to your liking.''

The court has previously heard ''Maurice'' is a nickname used by Mr Standen in the email exchanges.

For the first time the court was also shown surveillance footage capturing Mr Standen and Mr Jalalaty meeting in August 2007, on a bench on Market Street, near the Shelbourne Hotel in Sydney. The court heard no recording was available from the meeting because no listening device had been placed in Mr Standen's phone at that stage.

The jury was also shown a fax received by Mr Jalalaty on September 5, 2007, from a company called Elegant Hoisery in Lahore. The fax discussed the proposed first shipment of 17,000 kilograms of basmati rice, costing $US21,275, and difficulties after changes to export procedures in Pakistan.

The shipment was due to arrive in Sydney within 15 days, the fax advised, by which time proposed second and third shipments would have been dispatched.

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